Dear 2010 Campaign advocate,
With your campaign work over the next few months devoted largely to composing your case statements, you can take advantage of other pre-existing and nationally advertised events to strengthen your base of support and spread the active transportation gospel—and with minimal time investment on your part. By increasing local support for your campaign, you get an early start on future efforts to build local encouragement, thereby strengthening your case.
Following are three national events with strong presence in communities across the country. We encourage you to consider organizing around them to help generate publicity and local support.
1. National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 7-13
The theme for NPHW 2008, sponsored by the American Public Health Association (APHA), is Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance. This focus fits perfectly with the goal of active transportation, which is a powerful means of simultaneously improving both climate conditions and personal health.
NPHW provides an opportunity to harness its established energy and messaging to build support for your own campaign efforts. Conversely, if you are already planning any events during this week or know of any organized rides, NPHW—and its Web site—provides the opportunity to broaden outreach and increase participation.
Useful resources on the NPHW Web site for organizing your campaign include:
- A calendar of NPHW events around the country.
- An easy-to-use form to submit local events.
- A white paper highlighting innovative ways individuals, families and communities around the country are addressing climate change, and how policy-makers are moving forward with proposals that support healthy communities and climate.
- A 44-page toolkit on how to organize an event and spread your message.
Additionally, a summer issue of APHA’s monthly newsletter, The Nation’s Health, will list all NPHW events in the country and reaches a national readership of 31,000. This page provides information on submitting event details.
2. Earth Day, April 22
This year’s event features a similar theme to NPHW: “Walk, bike, [or] row to a major Earth Day event around the world!” The Web site has links to both find and submit Earth Day events.
3. Bike-to-Work Week, May 12-16
Coordinated by the League of American Bicyclists (who just concluded a very successful 2008 Bike Summit in Washington, D.C.), this classic event encourages a day of bicycle commuting for first-timers and experienced riders alike. While Bike-to-Work Day is unofficially May 16, many communities choose to hold their events on another day that week.
The January 2008 Active Transportation Newsletter suggests a plan for organizing around Bike-to-Work Day to promote your campaign activities and efforts. Whether or not you follow this suggested agenda, Bike-to-Work Day is an outstanding opportunity to organize and gather support for local campaign activities.
The League of American Bicyclists Web page contains several Bike-to-Work references, including special events, promotional materials and PSA examples from past years if you are interested in airing a local PSA.